Browns sign free agent tight end Rob Housler
CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns tackled one of their offensive needs, signing free agent tight end Rob Housler to a one-year contract.
After losing former Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron during free agency to Miami, the Browns were in need of quality depth at the position. They faced the possibility of needing to use one of their top picks - they have two in the first round and six of the first 115 - in the NFL draft on a tight end. However, Housler lessens that urgency, at least temporarily.
Housler spent the past four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, who selected him in the third round of the 2011 draft. While not much of a downfield threat, the 27-year-old Housler caught 105 passes for 1,133 yards and a touchdown in those four years. Last season, the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder had nine receptions for 129 yards.
Cameron's departure was a major blow to a Cleveland offense lacking quality playmakers. The team will be without wide receiver Josh Gordon in 2015 after he was suspended by the NFL at least one year for multiple drug infractions.
Housler gives Cleveland depth at tight end along with Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray, solid blockers who combined for just 30 receptions and one TD last season.
The team hosted Housler at their facility on Wednesday and the sides were quickly able to reach an agreement. Housler also drew interest from AFC North rivals Cincinnati and Baltimore as well as Atlanta.
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